Renewables 2010 target likely to be missed

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Patchy growth throughout Europe in electricity from renewables means the EU will fail to meet its 2010 targets, according to a progress report by the European Commission based on its analysis of 2006 Eurostat data. The EU has an overall indicative target for 21% of electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2010, with non-binding targets for each of the EU 27 countries. The report confirms previous prognoses. Uneven progress over the last two years has resulted in two countries having met their targets by 2006 -- Germany and Hungary -- while others lag far behind. The Commission singles out seven countries -- Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Malta, Romania and Slovenia -- which have seen the share of renewables in their power supply stagnate or even decline. It has taken 61 legal infringement proceedings against member states for failing to take adequate measures to comply with the EU's 2001 renewables law. Italy is the worst offender with 13 failures to act, followed by Spain with six and Austria four. The reasons for the poor progress are not new, says the report. Administrative procedures, access to grid networks and inadequate support measures still remain barriers to growth. Overall, the Commission expects the EU to reach 19% of electricity from renewables, rather than its 21% goal. The good news though is that the stronger legislative framework in the new Renewables Directive will help bring down barriers.

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